Harkins, Merski: $5 million awarded to expand, improve expERIEnce Children’s Museum

ERIE, Dec. 3 – A $5 million state grant will fund expansion and improvements to the expERIEnce Children’s Museum, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski announced today. 

The lawmakers, both D-Erie, said the funding – supported through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program – will help fund a building addition, outdoor space and improvements to the existing structure.

“Securing this funding is going to allow the museum to expand its footprint and also offer new outdoor spaces for open-air programs,” Harkins said. “With those additions, the museum will be able to accommodate more people and add additional exhibits and programs, making the experience even more exciting for young visitors.”

Merski said, “It’s hard to overstate the importance of vivid, hands-on exhibits that stimulate kids’ senses and help them learn. Our children’s museum gives kids an amazing educational experience to complement what they learn in the classroom, and today’s funding is going to help ensure the museum has the capacity to expand those resources even further.”

The lawmakers said that the three-story addition to the current facility includes site preparation, foundation and concrete slabs, structural steel, building envelope, interior walls, and ceilings, finishes, and mechanical and electrical systems. In addition, renovations include reworking of structural steel and the addition of energy efficient heating/cooling/lighting, electrical, plumbing, communication systems, and ADA compliant entrances.

The funding is part of a package of $54.5 million to 16 community development projects supported through RACP. The program is administered by the Office of the Budget for acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.

More about the awards is available here.